BTCC Croft: Turkington dominates for BMW in free practice

BMW's Colin Turkington led the way in both free practice sessions ahead of the British Touring Car Championship round at Croft this weekend

BTCC Croft: Turkington dominates for BMW in free practice

Four-time champion Turkington made light of the fact that he is carrying 54kg of success ballast on his West Surrey Racing-run 330i M Sport by popping in a late time in the second session to go fastest overall by 0.057 seconds.

It came after he had also topped the slower morning session, setting two laps quicker than anyone else's best during a 'race' run of 14 consecutive flying laps - comfortably the longest stint anyone did over the two sessions.

"It's dry and cool, and that's probably the ideal conditions for the car," said Turkington of his performance on a track where the BMW always shines.

"Since they resurfaced the track a couple of years ago, the grip is very good, and so far so good.

"We rolled out of the box with a very well-balanced car - it was pretty neutral, no understeer, no oversteer, and we've just tried not to make it any slower."

Before Turkington's flier, the times were topped by the unballasted BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R of Josh Cook, and before Cook's lap the session was led for a long time by the older-spec FK2 Honda of MB Motorsport's Jake Hill.

Cook ended up second and Hill - carrying 6kg of ballast - third, with both also featuring in the top six in the opening session.

Adam Morgan continued to extract good speed out of the Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A-Class, which he drove spectacularly to fourth fastest, carrying 18kg of ballast.

Championship contender Tom Ingram didn't set a flying lap in the morning session due to a broken exhaust manifold on the Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Corolla.

But Ingram, on 42kg of ballast, found a clear space of track late in the second session, a few hundred yards behind the flying Turkington, and hauled himself into fifth place.

Tom Oliphant, carrying 30kg of ballast, made it two BMWs in the top six, and was fourth in the morning session, while next up was the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 of championship leader Ash Sutton.

Sutton, laden with 60kg of success weight, looked strong in the morning to go second fastest to Turkington, and was still quick later on, his best lap within 0.3s of Turkington's benchmark.

Mike Bushell had a dramatic day on his first competitive outing of 2020 in a Team Hard Volkswagen CC after racing the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra at two earlier rounds.

He caused the only red flag of free practice, with his VW needing retrieval from Clervaux in the morning session, and he had just popped in eighth fastest time in the second session when he lost it at Clervaux and thumped the tyre wall.

A miraculous rebuild from the Motorbase Performance team got Rory Butcher out in the Ford Focus he crashed heavily at Silverstone, and he went ninth fastest on 36kg of ballast.

Dan Cammish rounded out the top 10 at his local track in the lead Team Dynamics Honda.

Cammish was third in the opening session, but a broken differential provoked a change of the complete front end on the Civic - carrying 48kg of weight - for the later period.

Croft BTCC FP1 result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 1m22.145s
2 Ash Sutton Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 0.125s
3 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 0.158s
4 Tom Oliphant WSR BMW 0.164s
5 Jake Hill AmD Tuning Honda 0.240s
6 Josh Cook BTC Racing Honda 0.505s
7 Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 0.549s
8 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 0.586s
9 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 0.712s
10 Rory Butcher Motorbase Performance Ford 0.751s
11 Jack Goff Team Hard Volkswagen 0.827s
12 Tom Chilton BTC Racing Honda 0.836s
13 Chris Smiley Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai 0.898s
14 Bobby Thompson Trade Price Cars Racing Audi 0.968s
15 Senna Proctor Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai 1.032s
16 Ollie Jackson Motorbase Performance Ford 1.155s
17 Michael Crees BTC Racing Honda 1.183s
18 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 1.332s
19 Mike Bushell Team Hard Volkswagen 1.457s
20 Carl Boardley Team Hard BMW 1.463s
21 Andy Neate Motorbase Performance Ford 1.971s
22 Sam Osborne AmD Tuning Honda 2.035s
23 Jac Constable Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 2.242s
24 Nicolas Hamilton Team Hard Volkswagen 2.485s
25 Jack Butel Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 3.638s
26 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota -

Croft BTCC FP2 result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 1m21.768s
2 Josh Cook BTC Racing Honda 0.057s
3 Jake Hill AmD Tuning Honda 0.147s
4 Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 0.152s
5 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 0.229s
6 Tom Oliphant WSR BMW 0.278s
7 Ash Sutton Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 0.285s
8 Mike Bushell Team Hard Volkswagen 0.410s
9 Rory Butcher Motorbase Performance Ford 0.434s
10 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 0.458s
11 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 0.467s
12 Bobby Thompson Trade Price Cars Racing Audi 0.578s
13 Senna Proctor Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai 0.656s
14 Chris Smiley Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai 0.732s
15 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 0.733s
16 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 0.769s
17 Tom Chilton BTC Racing Honda 0.915s
18 Michael Crees BTC Racing Honda 0.916s
19 Carl Boardley Team Hard BMW 1.177s
20 Ollie Jackson Motorbase Performance Ford 1.295s
21 Jack Goff Team Hard Volkswagen 1.440s
22 Jac Constable Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 1.517s
23 Andy Neate Motorbase Performance Ford 1.763s
24 Sam Osborne AmD Tuning Honda 1.808s
25 Nicolas Hamilton Team Hard Volkswagen 2.260s
26 Jack Butel Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 2.269s

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